Product Review – Shimano Nexus “Red Band” 8-Speed Hub

By | October 10, 2019

“Internal gear hubs are extra reliable than derailer systems, and require a lot less protection. Unlike derailers, they’ll be shifted even if the bicycle is stopped, a precious feature for the cyclist who rides in stop-and-cross urban visitors.” – Sheldon Brown, 1944 – 2008 아이허브 코리아

There were three main reasons why I wanted to strive an internally geared hub. First, it in shape with the character of “the Plummer,” a bike I even have built up as a cutting-edge(ish) version of an vintage English roadster. For those of you who want to realize, it is named after a individual who rides a stunning old Raleigh on a kid’s TV display. Secondly, I look very dorky once I trip with my pant legs rolled up, and I even have a nice chain protect I were wanting to put in at the Plummer, however it would now not work with a multi-cog freewheel. Finally, Sheldon Brown stated that internally geared hubs are higher, and whilst Sheldon spoke, I generally listened.

I did a bit of research and selected the Shimano Nexus “Red Band” eight-pace inner hub. This is Shimano’s top class product of their Nexus line. It has a great reputation for being robust and dependable, which is essential to me because I am 250 pounds and I haul lots of more weight (groceries, substances and my children) up the very steep hills in my home city of Santa Clarita, California. I have a tendency to “mash” the rubber block pedals at the Plummer. My pedal cadence is normally low and I have a tendency to stand up and push very difficult, a pedaling style which can destroy a wimpy geared hub quite darn quick. Another pleasant characteristic of the Nexus Red Band hub changed into its extensive tools variety which can are available in quite reachable within the hilly terrain around my domestic.

I selected master wheel-builder Anthony King, of Longleaf Bicycles, to construct my wheel for me. King is widely recognized for building strong wheels for use in the real global. He also has true understanding in putting in antique bikes with new gadget, and he has masses of revel in with internally geared hubs. King defined the one-of-a-kind 27″ rim alternatives I could use, focusing on the remarkable selection of 27″ rims provided through Velocity. I chose the double-walled Velocity “Synergy” rim to get the most energy viable. King laced the 36-hole wheel up with 14 gauge DT stainless spokes. Finally, King indexed the shifter alternatives from Shimano, which encompass twist shifters and cause shifters. I chose the twist shifter with out the integrated brake lever. Once King had all my requirements, he gave me a completely honest fee at the parts and added them fast.

Setting up the bicycle with the Nexus system was simple and smooth, for the maximum part. Shimano’s published instruction sheets are quite correct. Make positive to preserve them and read them as you do the set up. Unfortunately, while Shimano instructs the consumer to “Install the preserving ring” that holds the cog to the hub, they do now not supply any in addition details. That ring is STOUT! I wrestled with it for thirty mins or so, using flathead screwdrivers, needle nostril pliers, and whatever else I ought to get my palms on earlier than I eventually got it to snap into location. Of direction, I waited till I changed into finished earlier than I e-mailed King at Longleaf Cycles for recommendation. He responded directly and accurately,

“When putting in or casting off the snap ring, start at one the quit of the ring, not the center, and work your way around. I can commonly deploy the ring with my fingers and removal need to handiest take a small flat head screw driving force. If you start from the center of the snap ring you will have a totally difficult time.”

The twist shifter unit is designed for handlebars with an outdoor tube diameter of twenty-two.2mm at the set up factor, so my upside-down Nashbar mustache bars were too large. Luckily, I had a hard and fast of very groovy “North Road” handlebars sitting on a shelf. Made from appropriate, old school chromed metal, they healthy the man or woman of the bicycle perfectly, and they have been the proper size as nicely.

The best different “hitch” within the meeting system became because of the fact that the shifter cable and housing furnished via Shimano have been a bit too brief for my large 67cm frame with its lengthy pinnacle tube, long stem, and upright bars. I should just get the cable and housing established, and they truly worked, however I idea the bend radius of the housing became too tight in places, and the cable housing saved pushing my wicker basket to at least one aspect. Absolutely unacceptable! The cable housing had printing that study “SEALED” on the side, so I became now not sure what I ought to use for a substitute. Once again, King came to the rescue, pronouncing,

“There is nothing unique approximately the derailer housing or cable. I’m not sure what the ‘sealed’ on the housing is meant to refer to – perhaps the internal liner (which all exact housing has) or that the housing is continuous. If you want to run break up housing you could. In concept this provides entry points for water, dirt, and so forth but in practice the transferring will continue to be extraordinarily low upkeep.”

Once the entirety became established, adjustment was nearly trivial. I rotated the barrel adjuster at the shifter till the machine shifted properly, and stale I rode. Over the primary few days of driving, I gave the barrel adjuster very minor tweaks as matters settled into vicinity, but I in no way had a major skip or another sort of problem. To get the legitimate commands, I asked King approximately proper adjustment and routing renovation. He answered,

“The most effective recurring preservation is to test if your transferring is adjusted well – simply shift to gear 4 and make sure the two yellow lines on the hub are aligned. If they are not, use the barrel adjuster on your shifter to align them. Of course, cleaning your cog and chain periodically will enlarge the lifestyles of each, but they may last a very long time even if you do not. Most human beings get an internal gear hub due to the fact they do not want any fuss, and these hubs supply.”

On the road, the device works pretty much perfectly. It is a ways easier to function than any derailer setup I actually have ever used. It shifts perfectly whether or not the motorcycle is in motion or at rest (and I should maintain reminding myself that I can shift once I am stopped). I tend to “permit off” a piece on pedal stress when I shift at the same time as pedaling. The shifts are smoother and extra quiet when I accomplish that, and I ought to accept as true with that it’s miles better for the internal mechanics. The Nexus hub got here with one 19 and one 21 enamel cog. I set my bicycle up with the 19 teeth cog mated to a forty two teeth chainring. This appears to be a terrific compromise. Although I do spin out at lower speeds than I am used to, the smooth tools on this setup is simply adequate for hauling fifty pounds really worth of children and groceries up the hill to my house. If this have been a bike installation for high-RPM spinning, I probable could have used the 21 teeth cog. If I lived in a flat region and was now not the usage of the bike as a cargo/passenger hauler, I possibly could set it up with a 46X19 mixture.

In conclusion, I might advise the Shimano Nexus Red Band hub to those who:

– Are no longer weight weenies; the hub within reason heavy

– Don’t need thirty gears; you’ll be restricted in each normal range and increments among gears versus a derailer device

– Don’t want chain gunk for your legs or your pants

– Like matters to be easy and practical

Now, if you may excuse me, it is time for me to hook up the cargo trailer, strap my baby boy into the kid seat, and head for Trader Joe’s. And I shall enjoy the trip immensely. I loved my motorcycle earlier than I positioned the Nexus hub on it, but I adore it even greater now!